The weather forecast was showing calm weather for the next couple of days. It didn’t look like we’d be able to sail with the light winds coming out of the direction we would be heading, however, if it’s calm it’s a good time to cross the Gulf Stream. We’ve made the crossing 8 times now and have never had any issues. It’s just like any other crossing when dealing with strong currents. If the wind waves are coming against the current, don’t leave. Waves grow quickly in size and become very short-period waves, making it very hard to keep a course and eventually it just gets unsafe. When we left, the winds were perfect. We had about 10 knots of wind from the North, not strong enough to make the waves dangerous, and we were able to sail on a beam reach for the first 7 hours of our trip. Just as we neared the end of the stream the wind steadily picked up to a constant 20+ knots right out of the North. By the time we got to West End, the waves had grown to an uncomfortable size out there and we arrived making great time. The dodger and side enclosure were INCREDIBLE during our trip, keeping the sea spray and strong winds out of our face. I cannot believe we made the trip to Sint Maarten without one. The trip would have been so much more comfortable! Oh well, live and learn, right? We got into the short channel at West End right after sunset that day and just as I pulled back on the throttle, the engine began shaking as if the fuel was being restrained. We quickly shut off the engine and dropped anchor as we drifted into the marina’s turning basin. Everything appeared fine with the fuel lines. After turning the engine back on we noticed that the RPM gauge wasn’t reading correctly. It showed zero until it was probably around 1500 RPM, then slowly climbs, never going higher than 1200 RPMs. Well, clearly the gauge wasn’t working. We also noticed that when in gear, it wouldn’t allow us to give it a lot of throttle. Something was very wrong but with the ability to slowly drift up against the fuel dock, we were fine for the night. We ordered a Kalik, threw on an episode of Ray Donovan, and sacked out.